[Ariyah – International District – Ariyah’s Haven – NA]
SPC Laura’s voicemail written by ST @Taggie
[Wake Roll: Success | BoL Roll: Fail | Hunger: 1 —> 2]
Ariyah woke up that night to find a voicemail from Laura.
Her client must have gone to check on the renovation’s progress and had called to let Ariyah know her thoughts.
Or she’d discovered the bugged artworks that the Camarilla had me install in her home. Ariyah thought sourly. She never woke up in a good mood; it might have something to do with the beast gnawing at her insides, demanding that she feed.
Ariyah pulled up the recorded message and put her phone to speakerphone as she went into the bathroom to brush her teeth.
The voicemail system finished reading the timestamp for the message, and a crisp, female voice took over.
“Ms Daniels,” Laura’s voice wasn’t angry, nor was she yelling, so Ariyah took that as a good sign, “I must admit, when I started this with you I was a sceptic. I’d heard good things about you, but you weren’t exactly a household name.”
Ariyah spat out her mouthful of toothpaste and gargled, “Well thanks,” she muttered into the mirror.
“Consider me a convert, though; it’s only been a night, and you’ve already surpassed my expectations. Which isn’t surprising, I suppose, given what a keen insight you have into your client’s needs.”
Ariyah felt her mood lift. She’s never had a dissatisfied customer, so she couldn’t say she was surprised by Laura’s words, but it was still nice to hear compliments.
“I could see having you do future work for myself, should you be open to it. And if you ever need a reference, I’d be more than happy to oblige. I look forward to seeing how this will all look when it’s finished.”
With a beep, the message ended, and Ariyah finished her “morning” routine. She was already in a better mood than when she woke up, and this was before even feeding.
Getting someone like Laura on her roster of clients can only be a good thing. If she was like any of her other high end clients, she’ll be hosting a party as soon as the renovations are done. That would mean a whole host of potential clients seeing Ariyah’s work. Money can’t buy that sort of exposure.
Ariyah looked through the wardrobe, picking out her outfit and mentally planning what she would do for the rest of the night.
First, she needed to feed; Jacob had been calling her about dinner again, and she’d persuaded him come over for takeout and a movie. Then she would go check out how the renovation is going at Laura’s apartment.
That reminded her to send a message to Sofia:
Hey, I'm guessing you've seen the mural for the Hitchens project already. How's the furniture shopping going?
It didn’t take the interior designer long to send a reply:
Ariyah snorted at the curt response. Sofia never used words when she could use pictures, and for the next couple of minutes, Ariyah’s phone pinged non-stop as images of potential furniture pieces flooded her inbox.
Ariyah scrolled through the pictures, mentally pairing them with the paintings she had shipped to Laura’s apartment.
She sent her own pithy message to her employee.
Ariyah continued ticking off items in her head; she also needed to visit Collin. She wanted to debrief him the night before, but he’d never gotten back to her. She’d left him a message at Studio X to say she’s put the artwork in Laura’s apartment and wanted to discuss next steps with him. Hopefully, he’d get back to her later tonight. Depending on when he gets back to her, she might meet with him before going to Laura’s for the site inspection.
Ariyah was reviewing the pictures Sofia was sending her when she received a text from Jacob:
I'm 10 minutes out. I bought pasta.
Ariyah felt her fangs itch at the idea of feeding and she finished getting changed. Skinny grey jeans, a black singlet, and an oversized cardigan for now, but she put aside a beanie and scarf for when she had to head out later.
It was closer to twenty minutes by the time Jacob got to her apartment, and Ariyah opened the door to see the young man carrying two plastic bags filled with takeaway containers.
“How much food did you get?” Ariyah laughed, stepping out of the way as Jacob moved past her into the apartment. She made a show of sniffing the air, “mmm… smells good.”
[Bloodhound: Resolve + Awareness: 5 successes vs 4 diff | Success | Phlegmatic]
And he did smell good; there was a lazy, caramely taste to his scent, and Ariyah followed the man into the kitchen.
Jasper had told her that, every now and then, she needed to get involved in the lives of kine around her. He’d told her that if all they did was feed on humans, it was easy for Kindred to lose their connection with their humanity. Her recent encounter with Piper and the subsequent feeding with Robert had reminded her that she was dangerously close to slipping, which was why she’d agreed to meet Jacob in her apartment that night. Maybe spending some time doing mundane things with Jacob would make that slope less slippery.
Ariyah held out for the better part of two hours, going through the motion of eating and chatting with Jacob about the latest art project he was working on, and later (after she’d excused herself to regurgiate the meal) arguing about what movie they were going to watch that night.
It was near the end of Project Power when Ariyah found the opportunity to feed. Jacob had nodded off and Ariyah was able to raise his limp wrist to her mouth.
[Herd | Fleeting Phlegmatic | Hunger 2 —> 1]
When she was done, Ariyah licked the wound closed. She kept her eyes closed for a moment, letting the feeling of the Kiss drain from her.
The whole time they were “hanging out”, all she could think about was drinking the guy. Not only did the experience not make her feel any more human, if anything, it made her feel worse.
Ariyah pulled back from Jacob’s sleeping form, trying not to think about the implication of what she’d done. She grabbed a pen and a Post-It note, leaving a message for Jacob when he woke that she had to go out for work and to let himself out.
Quietly, Ariyah put on the scarf and beanie and left the apartment.